Stories from the Road: The Search for Narrative

After a vacation in Montana, I’ve returned home, a head full of unorganized thoughts and a vague sense that I’m on the right path again. For months, I’ve been languishing in a purgatory of writer impotence and flailing about for some sense of purpose. We took the Amtrak train from St. Paul to Glacier National Park, staying in a century-old lodge with few amenities and scant Wi-fi. We paid for a view and a convenient walk from the train station. Following our arrival, we spent our days hiking and horseback riding and… Read More

Telling True Lies

I’ve been stuck for a long time, re-writing bits and pieces of my novel. It’s the windmill at which I’m constantly running. I’ve come to question whether I have enough skill or ambition to be a writer. When I read about other writers, I learn that they’ve been writing since they had enough manual dexterity to hold a writing utensil. Testimonials in this writing culture always say “I have to write”. I’ve written similar things. Earlier this week I wrote that I get a little more odd when I don’t write for… Read More

Tea and Toast: Stories at Breakfast

Writing prompts have never appealed to me for a couple of reasons. There is the Rule of Obstinacy that guides most of my life. Suggest something to me? You’re not the boss of me. Join a group, a trend, a club? To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would take me. Recommend something to me? What are your supporting sources? I need to do the research. The second reason that writing prompts don’t appeal, is that I cannot eat a simple breakfast without my… Read More

Living “As If”

The Green Study will return to posting on March 8th, 2015. Thank you to the new readers and commenters who arrived at The Green Study through the Freshly Pressed post Time Travel on Facebook. Sit back, lower your expectations and let’s get to know each other. Or not. I’m not good at small talk. Maybe I should just get back to writing.  It might have been the two rice and bean burritos that I ate for breakfast. Or the Netflix bender that lasted a couple of hours, watching “The IT Crowd” –… Read More

The Reader’s Delight: Being There

As a reader, I am inexcusably fast. I say inexcusably, because as a writer I am learning the value of words, syntax, rhythm – the deliberate choices one must make while telling a story. Those details matter and they should matter to me as a reader. One of my blogging friends, Bill over at pinklightsabre’s blog had referenced one of his favorite books several times, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce. Despite my voracious and eclectic reading habits, I’ve never read anything by Joyce and decided… Read More

My Dubious Unemployment as a Person of the Writing Persuasion

Lately, as I’ve tried to rehabilitate my creative self from an addiction to rules, schedules and the right way of doing things, I’ve arrived at this particular tenet: Questions are more interesting than answers. As an illustration, let me take you on a guided tour of my brain while unemployed. For most of my life, I’ve been highly organized, driven, disciplined and determined. Why, you ask, don’t I have a job now? Why haven’t I started my own business? Why don’t I pay people to scoop the litter boxes and sort the… Read More

Flu as Poetic Inspiration

When I get sick, things get very, very dark in my mind. I spiral downward into the morose thoughts of a depressive, luxuriating in my misery, knowing it is likely temporary. In the throes of corporeal suffering, I often turn to poetry. Poetry seems to speak when my sore, raspy throat produces nothing but squawks. Mysterious, isn’t it? A turn of light Above some stumpy Mountain, The way a screen porch Frames a bunch of haggard trees, The way we squint At what we love. “Honeymoon” by Cornelius Eady Hardheaded Weather Between… Read More

Creating Space: A Writer’s Quest

After many years of constant motion, I set out over the last year to make deliberate changes to my life. I stepped down, resigned, said no, cancelled activities and walked away. When all the excuses were gone, I was left facing the most formidable obstacle ever to being the writer I want to be – myself. There’s a lot of talk about the corrosive effect of our distracted lives and it hasn’t been until I tried to sit still that it became truly apparent. I feel a little lost, a little uncertain… Read More

Blog Post Draft #13: Editing My Life

This is it. Number 13. I will post this draft. I will, I will, I will. She was most prolific unpublished writer in history. Besides that one creepy guy who left behind trunks of manuscripts in his attic, as well as an extensive collection of single socks. Something happened to my brain over the last few weeks. As president of the parent teacher organization at my daughter’s school, the devil has been in the details. Get it done. Do it right. Do it on time. Look at every angle. Communicate, blah, blah,… Read More

Volunteering Again: The Definition of My Insanity

On my fridge, I have a magnet with the picture of a housewife saying “Stop me before I volunteer again.” A wise-ass friend mailed it to me after one particularly long gripe about how much I hated parent volunteer meetings. And every year I think this magnet is hysterically funny – after the fact. By the time I remember it, I’ve lost my marbles trying to do everything for everyone. This is my oath before the start of every school year: “This year, I will focus on developing a business/career, getting home… Read More